Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Look! There's a bird!

Since the temps outside were only in the low 70's ('only' is a relative term, believe me), I decided to do a little yard work this morning. Here's the problem with me, whenever I start any project, large or small. I have the attention span of a dust mote. I start the project with all good intentions, something catches my eye (within moments of starting), and I'm off paying attention to that thing -- until something else catches my eye. So what should have been an easy task (sweeping up dead leaves and such from the driveway) instead went something like this:

While I'm sweeping, I realize that the tree along the side of the driveway has DOZENS of shoots coming up all around the trunk; I also notice a dead branch on one of the cedars along the edge of our property to the east.

So I trudge to the back of the house and pick up a pair of clippers, trudge back up to the front of the house, and start clipping. Then I notice some ugly plants (weeds?) further up the driveway, so I carefully climb up the small slope (trying desperately not to fall or harm anything that's growing there) and I pull out the offending weeds.

I do a bunch more pruning, and then I notice that a small bush on the side of the garage is leaning over and about to drop onto the ground, so I trudge back out to the back of the house to get this cool plastic twine stuff we have so I can put a bamboo stake in the bed next to the bush and prop it up.

Only I notice that we have a lot more roses (and the ones I'd cut a few days ago were destined to join the rest of the green waste at some point during the day), so I walk down to the rose bushes to cut a few. Only I notice that the day lily plants have a lot of yellow leaves, so I start pulling them out, and that little sub-task requires two trips up the slope to the green waste container (you see, walking is no longer one of my skills -- it's hard as hell to walk with one leg that doesn't quite work right, and with a questionable sense of balance, so the little walk up the slope to the green waste bin is not easy for me. I come back down and cut one gorgeous, pink rose, notice a bunch more dead leaves on the day lily plants and literally have to force myself to get the hell back into the house where it's cool and I can sit down.

What should have been a ten-minute deal took me something like 45 minutes, and I hadn't even had a cup of coffee!

So I can do stuff, sure, but only for a very short period of time.

A few months ago, my neurologist suggested that I attend a session on managing fatigue (which is the single worst MS symptom for a compulsive, control-freakazoid like me). I knew about the fatigue (oh mama, do I know!), but I never knew why it happened. Here's what I learned:
when you have MS, your central nervous system is damaged so that it doesn't transmit impulses properly. When the body get overheated, or a particular set of muscles and nerves are used repetitively (like, for example, when you try to walk somewhere), the result is -- well --
fatigue; those muscles/nerves will stop working the way you want them to. I once heard someone describe MS fatigue as sinking into quicksand. My analogy is that it's like a heavy, dark curtain coming down over my head and body -- and when that curtain starts to drop, I have to lie down and rest, or I'll fall over.

This happens at unpredictable times (like once, when I was speeding in the fast lane on I-880, somewhere south of Oakland), which kinda prevents me from getting in the car and just going somewhere by myself. I might make it to wherever I want to go, but there's no guarantee that I'll make it back home.

I now can't remember how I started this rant, so I'm gonna end it and read the Oregonian online.


Monday, June 26, 2006

Okay, so I'm not the most attentive of bloggers, but hey, it's only been two years, right?

Still have MS, still not working, still don't like it much.

In the interim since I last (first) posted here, a few things have happened in my life like:

I got married (after what we call our 'ten-year' engagement) and moved to Portland, Oregon. Portland is a very cool city (well, not temperature-wise, at least not today, when the temps are predicted to hit 100-plus degrees by the afternoon), and we're loving it here.

So now that I've rediscovered Blogger, I'll resume the story of my MS Journey. Not now, though. Now it's time to nap.